With the thoughts of the Clan Chiefs still getting away, Elo and Zeag cautiously go forward through the tunnels, and pause as they come to what looks like a massive arena. An arena that they are on the floor of. The vast amphitheater stretches above them, sharpened bones overhanging the rim to prevent escape to the stands above, and a throne-like area at the far end, opposite them. In it stands a big kobold, one of the clan chiefs they saw before. Under the throne area are the bone-bars of a cage that barely holds some great snarling beastie at bay.
Elo and Zeag consider their options, and decide that actually, this is a trap and one they don’t intend to fall for. But before they do the sensible thing and run the fuck away, Zeag suggests Elo shoots at the chief. If they can get rid of one, then it’s a win. Elo is doubtful, as it’s over a hundred feet away, but gives it her best. She misses the chieftain, but does manage to take out one of his advisors – a kobold dressed in feathers and who does an honest-to-Gods squawk as he dies. All the death really does is highlight that they are there, and the chief begins to monologue about how he will be their end, and orders the beastie handlers to release it.
Elo and Zeag consider that their cue to leave; they take to their heels and run the opposite direction, back through the cave. The handlers start to raise the cage door, but the beastie is impatient and just snaps the bone cage, hurtling after them with glee.
As they run, Elo shouts to Enizeag that when they reach the magic users, he should grab Merri, as she is the slowest of them all, and if she get’s eaten, then the world is doomed. He agrees and as Darrius, Merri and Felix come into sight, the pair start shouting at them to run. By the looks on their faces, they can already hear the great slavering uber-dire weasel, and need no further encouragement. As they pass, Zeag slows briefly to haul Merri onto his back.
Little legs pumping as fast as they can, Felix and Elo keep pace with an encumbered Zeag, with Merri on his back, but Darri takes the lead, putting on a turn of speed that surprises them all. As they run Elo shouts to the others they need to get to the hole in the wall that allowed them ingress to the cavern, and find Scrikclaw the Seer. She has a plan, but none of them ever get to hear it; as they are are almost, almost to the hole, Elo feels the hot rancid breath the slavering beastie on her back. She looks back over her shoulder, stumbles, and then lets out a piercing scream as it’s claws rake her back.
Darrius launches himself through the hole, skidding and in his fear does not notice the pillar of stone until he’s found it face-first.
While the others do their best to take the weasle out, Darrius is found by Scrikclaw. The seer tells him there are another two of the beasties, and their best bet is to carry on running the fuck away from it. With that, he vanishes, as fast as he can hobble away. Darrius ducks back into the cavern and tries to assist in taking the weasel out as Merri and Felix back towards the hole. It is a tough beastie though, tougher by far than poor Elowen. Her screams fade suddenly, and with one small twitch, her soul flees to the hereafter. Zeag is enraged, but Merri pulls him away, as the beastie settles down to eat now that it’s lunch has stopped moving. But it hasn’t bargained for dwarven stonecunning, and Merri casts a trap that activates the moment it breaths, causing piercing stone spikes to impale its body.
The remainder of the group flee, as the beastie roars, and comes after them again. They run into the center of the Kobold settlement, and the weasel follows them, causing kobolds to run screaming in terror. Greatly weakened however, they take it out easily.
The battle over, fatigue and grief take over, and Merri tries to comfort Felix and Darius in the ruins of a dwarven house. Darrius, though he has seen people die, has never witnessed a death so visceral and is blubbing (which is only fair – he is a child after all), while Felix is cursing his weakened magics that has little to no effect on the creature. Zeag is still angry, and spotting Scrikclaw loitering outside, goes to speak to the wizened seer.
He asks the seer, quite simply, if he is able to bring Elowen back to them. She was his responsibility, the squat half-orc says, and if there is a chance to fight for her still, he must take it. She was the closest thing they had to a responsible adult, and they need her back, he says. The seer weighs Enizeag’s words, and finds them worthy, apparently, as he agrees to perform a ritual to bring her back.
Meanwhile, Elo is greeted by a dark robed figure that taps a sand timer meaningfully and tells her she is late. She mutters something about arriving precisely when she meant to, and the glowering figure escorts her to the Gods’ Waiting Room: a sterile white room, with plastic benches, fake plants and low tables with magazines. Apparently Death has nothing better to be doing, as he stays with her, chatting over vending-machine tea, about how Death Knights cut into his soul-retrieval margins. Elo does wonder out loud at some point when someone will be along to fetch her, and Death reminds her there’s a reason it’s called a ‘waiting’ room.
Back on the Mortal Plain, Scrikclaw has lead the group back to his tent, where he prepares summoning circle and components. When everything is made ready he begins his chant, calling on Kutulmack to fetch Elowen from the hereafter, and offering himself in sacrifice. A bleeding rift is cut into space/time and the giant scaled muzzle of the kobold god pokes through the portal. It asks if the seer is really, honestly and truly doing this, and is fine with the whole sacrifice thing, and the old kobold says he is.
Back in the Waiting Room, a bleeding portal appears in front of where Elowen and Death are still drinking vending-machine tea, and the scaled muzzle of Kutulmack pushes its way through. Elo is surprised – she was expecting St Cuthbert, she says. Or maybe Moradin. At the very least Gruumsh (not that she’s overly keen to meet him again). Death advises her the those Gods are a little bit busy right now, and Kutulmack asks if she wants to be resurrected by his cleric. He vaguely mentions the life-for-life clause, but Elo has already said yes, because she’s got stuff to do, people to save and afterall who wants to be dead, right? Death shrugs, says it’s not all bad, but Kutulmack has heard her affirmation and grasps her in a large clawed paw.
At the same time, a claw shoots out of the portal to the Mortal plain into Scrikclaw’s eye, killing the cleric. In the darkness before she appears on the Mortal plain, Elo hears Kutulmack telling her she’ll become his demon and the vessel… Then she is stood in the center of the summoning circle, with only bloody gore to cover her dignity. She stares out as the others stare back, everyone equally in shock.
Then Zege nods, gives a satisfied grunt and turns away. With that, the moment is over and Merri hurries forward, throwing a cloak around Elo’s shoulders. The halfling so covered, Felix impulsively rushes forward and gives Elo a hug. By the time Zege returns with Elowen’s pack, boots and the bone armour of a dead kobold (her own having been understandably totaled), Merri has managed to fish out a spare set of vestments and they have retreated into the tent.